tv [untitled] June 11, 2011 11:00am-11:30am PDT
facilities to encourage people, when they get a mortgage for their new home, to include the cost of a retrofit. in oakland, before the economy crashed, but out half a million dollars in matching money and grants for new homeowners at the time that they bought homes. we would give them up to $5,000 for a retrofit. the year before we had 16 applications. that year we had over 200. it shows if you can do an education campaign, give some incentive, people will move when it makes sense, and particularly when they are refinancing their loans. what we are now mostly working on is trying to get the obama administration and others to set aside pools of money so that people can get low interest loans or use the mechanism that some cities are using for solar
energy, to allow people to borrow the money and pay it back as part of their property taxes over a 20 or 30-year period. that kind of program is critical, especially now in the recession. and it is such a smart investment. i do not know about you but i am running and aggregated green waste building where people are retrofitting their homes for energy. imagine spending $20,000 on a beautiful open victorian and then having it all off of its foundations. it would only cost another $5,000 to $10,000 to secure the building on to its foundation. when we have taken houses that are foreclosed and turn them over, we have required retrofits to be part of turning over the building to the new home owners. i think, politically, we are
going to have to do more of that. i am going to end with this. i was in kobe, about to visit the earthquake institute on the night katrina happened. i remember sitting there watching. first of all, the search and rescue people did not do the x's for the data. we knew that they were going to have a hard time reaching everybody, searching homes. i, too, said that night, if i ever get to that point, if i am in charge of disaster planning for the city, i will make sure we do a couple of things. these are the things that we still need to discuss more. one of the things i learned fron m kobe is we cannot think about
where we are going to place people internally and think of it as a structure issue. originally, they took all the seniors and moved them into the house and quickly because they wanted to take care of them. but what they learned -- particularly in japan. this is a society that has been stable for over 200 years. when you approach those old people, they do not do well. we are not just relocating people, we are relocating communities, living communities. relocating communities. particularly but seniors and children, we have to make sure we plan for that, because that is the community and the society. oakland would not be opened if we lost everyone along the shore. it it is a city where rich, working-class, and poor people can live side by side. ed i think a lot about that.
how am i going to make sure 1289 witches, the different groups that have come here, the latest groups -- 128 languages, the different groups that have come here, the latest groups, how do i need sure they are well taken care of? the second thing that i think we really have to think about as planners and people looking at the future is to make sure that we plan in a smart way the reinvestment and he economic development. eds that is, how do we make sure our businesses survive? if you look at downtown oakland,
it was a dose area for about 10 years. -- it was a ghost area for about 10 years. thank god. the retrofitted many of the old buildings. the fox theater is the one we celebrate the most. we could have lost it. when we are restructuring, we have to think about the historical soul of the city. the ninth ward, to see it today, was more than a bunch of housing. it was a real, living community. and it is gone forever. part of american history is gone because of that. we need to think, to make sure that the people who live in those communities will be able to get back to work, that things like restaurants closing down, restaurants are these little tiny profit margins. they cannot afford to be down for six months.
if they are down for six months, they are down forever. i do know -- i do not know about you. i have 128 different kinds of restaurants in oakland and i loved every one of them. thank you very much. we are looking forward to what new ideas that you have, but let's also think politically, because i think we are running out of time for. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much, mayor kwan and mayor lee. we appreciate you taking the time to be with us. just as of small gift -- thank you very much.